Crisps packet blankets make a difference to those who are homeless

As we look towards autumn and the nights are getting colder, wetter and darker we know that sleeping bags and tents will be in very high demand for people who are rough sleeping. One of the biggest challenges when sleeping outside is keeping dry. As soon as the layers meant for warmth and protection become wet, retaining any heat and comfort becomes impossible.

Earlier this year during an interview with one of our beneficiaries, we heard first hand how a blanket made from recycled crisp packets made a real difference to him whilst he was rough sleeping throughout the coldest, wettest nights of the year.

“When I was sleeping outside, a woman came up to me and gave me the blanket. I put it underneath me and on top and it stopped everything from getting wet. One of the hardest things is keeping your stuff dry. It made such a big difference, I used it every night. I still have it now.”

The crisp packet blanket, which is made from approximately 44 crisps packets fused together, is also laminated with plastic on both sides to make it totally waterproof and windproof. We wanted to find out more, so we got in touch with the Crisp Packet Project.

Since November 2019 the Hastings charity has been making items from recycling crisp packets and landfill plastic to make survival items for homeless and less fortunate communities.

The Crisps Packet Project has tried and tested methods for making a ‘survival sheet’, a ‘survival blanket’ (1/2 size of a bivy bag) and a ‘bivy bag’. They offer clear written instructions and video tutorials on how to make these items, along with practical guides on how to prepare the crisps packets, the best plastic to use, folding for distribution and even how to make crisp packet pillows!

If you are interested in collecting and making crisps packet blankets or would like your community group to get involved please get in touch and we will help in any way that we can: gill@emmanuelhouse.org.uk

To hear more about Geoff’s experience of rough sleeping you can watch here.